NCP CHIEF Sharad Pawar on Friday said that the government being formed by his party along with Shiv Sena and Congress would last five years and there is no possibility of mid-term elections being held.
He, however, refused to set a deadline for government formation. “Talks are going on and it will happen in a few says,” he told mediapersons in Nagpur on Friday. Pawar is on a two-day visit to Nagpur district to meet farmers affected by unseasonal rain and to attend a programme in the memory of tribal icon Birsa Munda.
When pointed out that BJP has said that the government being cobbled up by the three parties won’t last and mid-term elections would be held in the state, Pawar said, “There is no possibility of mid-term elections. The government will last for five years and we will ensure that.”
When told that former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has predicted that the Congress-NCP-Sena government will not last full term, the 79-year-old took a jibe at Fadnavis over his “mi punha yein (I will come again)” remark. “He (Fadnavis) had said I will come again (as CM), I will come again, I will come again. I remember only that. I didn’t know he was a soothsayer too.”
Asked if his party was holding discussion with BJP on government formation, the NCP chief said, “We are talking to Shiv Sena and Congress, not any other party.”
On whether his party will support Sena’s Hindutva agenda if it raises the same, Pawar said, “We are devising a common minimum programme and the government will run on its basis.” Asked who would be the CM in the new government, Pawar said, “Why should I open the cards now?”
The former Union agriculture minister, who visited some villages in the district to assess the damage caused to crops, said he will raise the issue of assistance to farmers with the Centre.
“Farmers have suffered unprecedented losses. I am going to talk to the Union agriculture minister and officials and together with all stakeholders, will try to find out what needs to be done… We will have to see if we can give the farmers relief from loans they have taken, loans taken for the next season too, apart from the per hectare relief for crop losses.”
Stressing the need to undertake a survey of the entire farmland to assess the crop loss due to unseasonal rainfall, he said, “The government has ordered survey of only those farms that have lost more than 33 per cent (of crops). This shouldn’t be the criterion. Panchnamas should be conducted on the entire farmland area.”
Asked if the new government would give loan waiver to farmers, Pawar said, “The election manifestos of both Congress and NCP have included this promise.”